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Arcane Mage Spec for Patch 4.0.1

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 by: Jason Zimmerman
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Since I consider Mage to be my number one alt and one of my favorite classes to play, I decided to follow up my Protection Paladin 4.0.1 post with an Arcane Mage blog post.

Currently, I raid as an Arcane Mage which has proven to most the most widely used PvE spec during Wrath of the Lich King. This guide will help you to maintain your Arcane spec while simply updating it for patch 4.0.1.

Going forward to Patch 4.0.3 and Cataclysm however, I am excited for the opportunity to try Frost and Fire Mage specs in PvE and in Raid content. I will look further into those Mage specs in further blog posts.

Let’s take a look my PvE Arcane Mage specs for 4.0.1.

Arcane Mage Spec Patch 4.0.1

Arcane Tree:

A lot of the talents in the Arcane tree are pretty obvious choices and should be taken. The following three talents can be taken at your discretion based on play style and raid needs/encounter needs.
Improved Blink
Prismatic Cloak
Improved Arcane Explosion

The talents I avoided are:
Improved Counterspell – PvP or very situational PvE
Invocation – PvP or situational PvE depending on required interrupts
Improved Polymorph – PvP

Fire & Frost Trees:
Master of Elements – The only fire talent worth taking at level 80. Helps you save on mana.

Piercing Ice – The must have Frost talent. It gives increased critical strike chance–enough said.


Update: Mage Glyphs are broken in game right now.

See my Arcane Mage 4.0.1 Glyph Post for my updated Glyph list.

Thanks to commenter Michael, UK for his thoughts on gemming. I’ve decided to include them in the updated version of this post now.

Get rid of all spirit gems, not needed anymore. Replace the Purified Dreadstones with Veiled Dreadstones. Replace your spirit leg enchant with Sapphire Spellthread.

  • Red Socket: +20 Intellect
  • Orange Socket: +10 Intellect / +10 Haste
  • Purple Socket: +10 Intellect / +10 hit
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  • Arrowtipz

    Hey Jason convince Modem to upload some tank and DPS trees for DKs….I just kinda did what I thought was best but I really have no idea what im doing :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1309494074 James Synkgar

    they took away my blastwave knockback. utter BS

  • Xion824

    Your Glyphs are incorrect on which section they belong to. Arcane Missiles is a Major, not Prime. Mirror Image is a Major, not Minor.

  • Azrockmca

    No, those are the correct levels of those glyphs, but Mage armor is major not prime

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  • Dragonian123

    what rotation are you using for this spec ?

  • demonjedii

    what is borked?

  • Jordan

    Just a short question. Correct me if I’m wrong but usually mirror images use frost bolts with a slowing effect. By using the mirror image glyph and an arcane build, the images logically use arcane blast instead of the previously used frost bolts. Why would one exchange those two? Arcane blast = no slowing… Frost bolt = slowing?!

  • Amydevary21

    Because you want the maximum dps, if ur an arcane mage ur images using arcane blast=more dps.

  • Scansley

    What are arcane mages supposed to be gemming and enchanting for now? I.E. what are our primary stats?

  • Mike

    Also, with points in Nether Vortex, you should be slowing your own targets.

  • Michael, UK

    Get rid of all spirit gems, not needed anymore. Replace the Purified Dreadstones with Veiled Dreadstones. Replace your spirit leg enchant with Sapphire Spellthread.

    Red: +20 Intellect
    Orange: +10 Intellect / +10 Haste
    Purple: +10 Intellect / +10 hit

    Keep the rest as is.

  • Turulo

    “Arcane Power – The one mandatory major glyph because resetting cooldowns is only going to help you.”

    The glyph _does not reset the cooldown_ it only allows casting those spells without waiting a global cooldown.
    It just does something we already could do in 3.3.5 for free. Seems that Arcane Power now forces a GCD, although I’m not sure because I haven’t specced back to Arcane since the patch.

  • Dwiechman

    Did you notice that arcane mages can slow when they apply an Arcane Blast to a target?

    btw: Arcane missiles suck!!! I used to be able to volley off a proc that could do more damae than 2 pyroblasts before… now it takes 3 of them to = 1 pyroblast. Way to drop the ball Blizzard. Let’s make Arcane Mages a 1 button class instead of a 3 button class.

  • Dwiechman

    Has this been tested? Do mirror images that are arcane actually cause more damage using AB or is this just a thought that arcane blast > frostbolt, therefore arcane blast should be > frostbolt for mirror images, too??

    When was the last time blizzard made a cosmetic change that was a dps increase?? Come on, now…

  • Dwiechman

    No… mage armor is a prime glyph… should be major, but whatever… Mirror images is a major glyph, not a minor one…

    I, for one, am not liking the changes made on talent trees and scaling…. Shadow Priests, and their 1 button execute phase should be proof of that…

  • Tferg57

    Your glyph are wrong Acr missles isn’t prime>

  • lol

    haha, shadow priests use more spells than mages… way more “advanced” than mages have ever been. We need to watch our DoTs and reset them perfectly to get a high dps.. mages= arcane blastx4 then arcane missiles..

  • Dwiechman

    Ok, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I am not liking the changes made on talent trees and scaling… FOR ANYONE!!! I have a shadow priest, and this post was not meant to be a slam on shadow priests, it was just the most obvious and vulgar example I could think of. Arcane mages and their inevitable 1 button play style is crap, too. How’s that?

  • Anonymous

    Zygor’s add-on specifically violates Blizzard’s add-on policies. Anyone using it and getting caught risks a ban.

  • Anonymous

    If someone will give me a poke tonight on Lightbringer I’ll bring in TheIcesnake and do some DPS testing on the target dummies.

  • eien

    arcane missles have one purpuse when they proc its a mana free cast. you see chaining AB you run out of mana pretty fast. its a way to stretch your mana pool out a little longer.

  • Argyron

    when was the last time Blizz made a cosmetic change and charged you a major glyph spot for it. It does increase dps, your mirror image crit’s more with arcane blast if you’ve specced right than they do with frostbolt

  • Metababe

    Intellect over spell power on the gems?

  • http://wowphiles.com Jason Zimmerman

    Spell power gems have been removed from the game. It is now just intellect which gives you spell power.

  • http://wowphiles.com Jason Zimmerman

    Spell power gems have been removed from the game. It is now just intellect which gives you spell power.

  • Shibby

    Correction my friend: Arcane Blast also casts Slow on your target, just a matter of glyphing and speccing, and it’s defenitly worth speccing, cause it is very usefull on bosses with a fast casting that need interuption.
    And the mirror image thing: there is a bug, cause my images still cast frostbolt => 2x slow? =)

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  • kevin

    what glyph are you using for this spec

  • David M Alexander

    What do you mean imp poly is pvp? If a sheep is broken there is a 3 second period where the mob can be re-polyed, or the tank can have time to become aware and charge/get aggro. Invocation is dependent? I CS almost every pull in every heroic; there is very little to spend in at that point.
    Now, incanter ‘s absorption, THAT’s a mistake, you want your shield to burst and chuck mobs towards other packs? Imagine in stonecore where mobs often hit you regardless of aggro due to their mechanics.
    To put it simply, this is not a good spec.

  • Ethyss

    Mirror images that do Arcane Blast also benefit from the “Arcane Specialization” passive ability that arcane mages get. Consider that.

  • dlr

    loving frost spec atm however my dps is low in that so.. here reading this post for useful information i read someone blogging a complaint about nerfs.. preist was whacked into the stone ages way way back when i played one long before what blogger describes.. loved it and sp dominated mages in pvp. one thing blizz has done is remain consistent in pissing off their client base by constantly whacking them with nerf sticks. ty for the posts folks. entertaining and useful both. ty too for the mage info. love my mage. hopefully they will rebalance the other two specs  so as to not force us to all have to be arcane to manage credible dps in raids